Millions of Americans soon will be giving thanks and celebrating Thanksgiving with their friends and loved ones. America’s hospitals also are preparing, but for a different reason. Flu season is upon us.

The AHA again is organizing the United Against the Flu Campaign – a collaborative effort by several national health care organizations to amplify the importance of getting vaccinated during flu season. The online hub, http://www.advancinghealthinamerica.org/flu/, provides information and resources on the flu vaccine, and why it’s important for nearly every person to get vaccinated.

To keep folks out of the hospital and at the dinner table and with their loved ones, the responsibility lies in the hands of every member of our hospital and health system family to get a flu shot and protect themselves this flu season.

In addition to symptoms like a sore throat, aches and fever, the flu can lead to serious health complications such as pneumonia. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated that flu vaccines prevented over 5 million flu illnesses, 71,000 flu-related hospitalizations and 3,000 flu-related deaths in the 2015-2016 flu season. That is real results. Now is a great time to roll up that sleeve if you haven’t already, and protect yourself from this potentially serious disease.

The AHA asks the women and men of America’s hospitals and health systems to get vaccinated and to encourage their friends and loved ones to as well. This holiday season, focus on giving thanks and sharing a meal – not sharing the flu.

CDC Flu Blog-A-Thon